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Dr. Prashant Pawar

DST INSPIRE Faculty fellow
E-mail: prashant dot pawar at rcb dot res dot in

  • PhD 2015, Umea Plant Science Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umea Sweden
  • Post-doc at Purdue University, West lafayette, USA

Unravelling the plant cell wall biosynthesis and architecture for bioenergy applications

Plant cell wall is an outermost layer of cell which has complex and dynamic structures, with central role in plant growth, development, physiology and defense. Plant cell wall is divided into two cell wall layers: primary and secondary walls which are composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, lignin and structural proteins. These plant cell wall components are synthesized and assembled inside the cell, secreted towards cell surface and cross linked to form plant cell wall matrix. The composition and structure of the plant cell wall matrix varies depending on cell types.

Primary focus of our group is -

  • To identify the protein or protein-complexes involved in the plant cell wall biosynthesis
  • To elucidate the interactions between plant cell wall components
  • To tailor the plant cell wall composition making it amenable for degradation during biofuel production

To achieve these goals, we are using Arabidopsis as a plant model system which has plethora of genetic tools available. We select the genes based on bioinformatics and molecular genomics approach to perform their functional and biochemical characterization. We perturb the gene function using gene editing tools and analyze the plant cell wall phenotype using structural and compositional characterization methods. The desired plant cell wall mutants are further tested to understand the effect on polysaccharide digestibility and fermentation.

The strategies developed in this project are translated to manipulate lignocellulosic biomass from bioenergy and agricultural crops like Poplar, Rice respectively.

  • DST INSPIRE faculty fellow 2018
  • Patent no : WO2013137810A1, Genetically modified plants having improved saccharification properties. USA, Europe.
  • Pawar, PM-A., Schnürer., A, Mellerowicz, E.J., Rönnberg-Wästljung, A. C. (2018). QTL Mapping of Wood FT-IR Chemotypes Shows Promise for Improving Biofuel Potential in Short Rotation Coppice Willow (Salix spp.). BioEnergy Research 11 (2), 351-363

  • Pawar, PM-A., Maceluch, M.D., Chong, S.L., Latha, GM., Bashar. S. S., Sparrman T., Hedenström M., Ahvenainen, P., Ozparpucu, M. Ruggerberg., M. Seriamma, R., Jönsson, L., Tenkanen M., Lawoko M., Mellerowicz, E.J. (2017). In muro deacetylation of xylan increases lignin extractability and improves saccharification of aspen wood. Biotechnology for Biofuels 10:98.

  • Pawar, PM-A., Ratke, C., Balasubramanian, V.K., Chong, S.L., Latha, GM., Adriasola, M., Sparrman, T., Hedenström M., Szwaj, K., Maceluch, M.D., Gaertner, C., Mouille, G., Ezcurra, I., Jönsson, L. Tenkanen M., Mellerowicz, E.J. (2017). Downregulation of RWA genes in hybrid aspen affects xylan acetylation and wood saccharification. New Phytologist 214(4), 1491-1505.

  • Pawar, PM-A., Maceluch, M.D., Chong, S.L., Gómez, L.D., Miedes, E., Banasiak, A., Gaertner, C., Mouille, G., Simon J. Mason, S.J.M., Molina, A., Sellstedt, A., Tenkanen M., Mellerowicz, E.J. (2016). Expression of fungal acetyl xylan esterase in Arabidopsis thaliana improves saccharification of stem lignocellulose. Plant Biotech. Journal. 14 (1), 387-397

  • Ratke, C., Pawar, PM-A., Balasubramanian, V.K., Naumann, M., Duncranz, M.L., Maceluch, M.D., Gorzsás, A., Satoshi, E., Ezcurra, I. and Mellerowicz, E.J. (2015). Populus GT43 family members group into distinct sets required for primary and secondary wall xylan biosynthesis and include useful promoters for wood modification. Plant Biotech. Journal, 13 (1), 26-37.

  • Manabe, Y., Verhertbruggen, Y., Gille, S., Harholt, J., Chong, S.L., Pawar, PM-A., Mellerowicz, E.J., Tenkanen, M., Cheng, K., Pauly, M. and Scheller, H.V. (2013). Reduced Wall Acetylation Proteins Play Vital and Distinct Roles in Cell Wall O-Acetylation in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 163, 1107-1117.

  • Pawar, PM-A., Koutaniemi, S., Tenkanen, M. and Mellerowicz, E.J. (2013). Acetylation of woody lignocellulose: significance and regulation. Frontiers in plant science 4 (118)

Dr. Prashant Mohan Pawar
Regional Centre for Biotechnology
NCR Biotech Science Cluster
3rd Milestone, Faridabad-Gurgaon Expressway
P.O. Box No. 3, Faridabad - 121 001
Haryana (NCR Delhi), India
E-mail: prashant dot pawar at rcb dot res dot in
Phone: 91 129-2848712 

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